Visible Women

Women’s Daily Dispatch: All the news you need to know on 19/1/18

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Moya Crockett
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As part of our Visible Women initiative, brings you the Women’s Daily Dispatch: your new daily digest of international news relating to women. It’s the good, bad, inspiring and urgent stories you need to know from around the world, all wrapped up in one bitesize piece. 

In today’s WDD, a survey of children’s drawings reveals how gender stereotypes affect career ambitions; the Department of Justice declines to challenge the release of serial rapist John Worboys; the first woman Muslim minister speaks in the House of Commons; and a doctor accused of sexual abuse says he should not be forced to hear victims’ impact statements. 

Children’s career drawings reveal influence of gender stereotypes 

Children’s career goals are influenced by gender stereotypes and class from an early age, a wide-ranging survey has shown. Careers charity Education and Employers asked 20,000 primary school children from around the world to draw pictures of what they wanted to be when they grew up, and found that girls in the UK had a range of creative, academic and athletic ambitions.

However, British girls were less likely than boys to aspire to be engineers or scientists - suggesting there is still work to be done in encouraging girls into STEM careers. Girls from deprived areas were also more likely than girls from wealthier areas to aspire to jobs that didn’t require as much academic success as, such as shop workers and beauty therapists.

The top three job choices for British girls aged seven to 11 were teacher, vet and sports player. Boys, in contrast, were most likely to want to be sports players, social media professionals or police officers.

Read more on the survey and what the results mean for education at BBC News

Government will not challenge John Worboys release 

Justice Secretary David Gauke

The government has confirmed that it will not challenge the decision to release serial rapist John Worboys from prison.

The former black cab driver, who was found guilty in 2009 of drugging and sexually assaulting 12 women in London, is believed to have had more than 100 victims. It was announced earlier this month that the Parole Board was to release Worboys from prison after less than 10 years, prompting calls for the Department of Justice to intervene.

However, Justice Secretary David Gauke has now said that he will not pursue a judicial review to prevent Worboys’ release. Addressing the House of Commons on Friday, Gauke said that such a review would not be “appropriate”.

“I know this will disappoint the victims in this case and members of this House given the crimes for which he has been convicted. On a personal level, candidly I share those concerns,” he said. He added that Worboys’ victims should not be deterred from making legal challenges to the Parole Board’s decision.

Two women have said that they intend to continue with judicial review proceedings next week. So far, an online fundraiser for their legal costs has raised more than £25,000.

Sky News has more on this story here

Sussex MP becomes first Muslim woman minister to speak in Commons 

Nusrat Ghani MP at the Conservative Party Conference in 2015

Nus Ghani, the Conservative MP for Wealden in East Sussex, has become the first Muslim woman minister to speak at the dispatch box in the House of Commons.

The recently-appointed transport minister urged young people of all backgrounds to aspire to a career in politics, and acknowledged the significance of the moment in the centenary year of women’s suffrage.

“As many people know, this year is also a significant milestone in this country, as 2018 marks 100 years of votes for women,” she said.

“I hope that today, young people can see that regardless of their background, heritage or faith, there will be a warm welcome on the green benches – and no matter where you are from, you can achieve your dreams and ambitions.”

Read more on this story here

Doctor accused of sexual abuse says victims’ statements are damaging his mental health 

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina rejected Larry Nassar’s claim that his mental health was being damaged by hearing victims’ statements

Larry Nassar, the former doctor for the USA Gymnastics team, has been reprimanded by the judge overseeing his sexual abuse trial after he complained that hearing victims’ impact statements was damaging his mental health.

Nassar is accused of sexually assaulting more than 140 women and girls over the course of nearly 20 years, while he was employed as a doctor for the USA Gymnastics squad. During his four-day sentencing in Lansing, Michigan, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina invited each of Nassar’s victims to read out impact statements in court, or have a statement read out for them.

Just over 50 victim statements had been read as of Thursday, including those of US Olympic athletes McKayla Maroney and Jamie Datnzcher. This led Nassar to write a letter protesting that Aquilina was conducting a “sentencing media circus”.

“I’m very concerned about my ability to be able to face witnesses this next four days mentally,” he wrote.

Aquilina dismissed Nassar’s letter, saying: “Spending four or five days listening to them is minor, considering the hours of pleasure you’ve had at their expense, ruining their lives.”

You can read more about the Larry Nassar case at

Throughout 2018, Stylist is raising the profiles of brilliant women past and present – and empowering future generations to follow their lead – with our Visible Women campaign. See more from Visible Women here.  

Images: Hal Gatewood / Education and EmployersRex Features / iStock